Nishikori to miss Australian Open due to wrist injury

The Australian Open will be without Japanese star Kei Nishikori this month after he pulled out of the year's opening grand slam because of a wrist injury.

Nishikori's withdrawal was confirmed on Thursday amid uncertainty over superstar trio Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal for the tournament at Melbourne Park, where 19-time slam winner Roger Federer is defending champion.

A three-time Australian Open quarter-finalist, former world number four Nishikori - now ranked 22nd - has been sidelined since August after ending his 2017 season early due to the right wrist injury.

In a tweet posted by the Australian Open, Nishikori said: "The Aussie Open is my favourite Slam...it's my 'home' Slam...and it hurts that I will miss this year."

The 27-year-old and 2014 US Open finalist will sit out back-to-back slams, having made 21 consecutive appearances in majors prior to missing Flushing Meadows.

Nishikori ended 2017 with a 30-13 win-loss record and two runner-up finishes in Brisbane and Buenos Aires.

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